How did Nobell Congressing dominate the niche of accommodation booking?

Nobell Congressing has been very successful and continues to grow. Today, we publish an interview with Kasia Wejsis, who talks about the company where she occupies the position of a Venue Finder and Event Manager.

How did Nobell Congressing dominate the niche of accommodation booking?

Nobell Congressing has been on the market since 2005, offering support for organisers of congresses and conferences in the form of choosing venues to organise events, handling booking of hotels, as well as taking care of communication and all activities related to the handling of participants. In addition, their team runs the biggest Polish website dedicated to conference facilities – konferencje.pl – and also offers the service of appraising conferences in 24 hours, eventy.pl. It also offers full logistics support during conferences and scientific congresses.

We started cooperating with Nobell Congressing in 2013 by implementing CONREGO event registration system for the purpose of a large-scale international scientific congress organised by the European Materials Research Society, which is an annual event taking place in Warsaw.

Nobell Congressing has been very successful and continues to grow. Today, we publish an label says with Kasia Wejsis, who talks about the company where she occupies the position of a Venue Finder and Event Manager.

You have been successfully developing your company for over 12 years now and your main focus is on venue finding and handling hotel booking. Is your strategy a means to pursue the competition, or rather a step to gain a competitive edge over other players?

This strategy is, on one hand, an answer to market needs that have evolved on a large scale, in the recent years, while on the other hand, a way of finding a niche that we could dominate, thus gaining a competitive edge. Our mission is also to introduce meetings dedicated to modern technologies of handling participants and managing events, that have already been effectively implemented elsewhere in the world, in Poland. We want to convince event organisers that they are worth their attention since they facilitate the process of event management but first and foremost we want to increase the quality of support offered to participants, both before and during a meeting. We have implemented many different IT systems that improve handling of conferences and congresses, starting from management systems, through visualisations, to handling the process of participant registration and selling hotel rooms. And that has led us to cooperation with CONREGO and purchaseing your system.

After four years of our cooperation, we see you as a very demanding client (which you should take as a compliment, not an affront) that always strives to achieve advanced optimisation of processes. When organising various conferences, you use a registration system that is strictly adapted to your specific needs. Which functions of the CONREGO system make your work most effective, in your own eyes?

Well, they are predominantly the functions related to managing an event website. You can modify its content in any way you like, easily and intuitively. As far as conferences and congresses are concerned, and particularly scientific events, you need to introduce quite a few modifications, although they are often minor. But the devil is in the detail, you know. It means a lot to me that I can react quickly without resorting to services provided by others. Another function that I see as very useful to me is reporting. The system can generate any type of report, sorted according to needs, at any time. And the most important thing is that the entire handling of participants becomes automatic if the registration process has been configured correctly. This way, participants receive automatic notifications about their current status, while organisers do not make the mistakes that plague manual registration.

The Accommodation Booking module in CONREGO has been completely rebuilt, following suggestions offered by Norbert Karczmarczyk. The majority of organisers offered fixed numbers of hotel rooms of a specific type, e.g. 50 single rooms and 100 double rooms, available during the registration process.

As I have said before, our activities are focused on supporting conferences and scientific congresses. As far as accommodation goes, it is usually provided in the same manner. Accommodation is most often required during conference days, but we do see reservations for extreme dates, by which I mean booking hotel rooms 2-3 days before the event, and 2-3 days after the event. They are most often made by people who need to arrive earlier or leave later because they are dependent on flight schedules, or they simply want to prolong their stay for tourist purposes. And why would we want to make the same number of rooms available for extreme dates as we do for conference days? The flexibility of CONREGO introduced based on our suggestions (smile) makes it possible for us to use different blocks of room booking for each day. This way, we can maintain a good relationship with hotels - our suppliers - without any artificial blocking of a superfluous number of rooms, and at the same time monitor the status of reservations for each separate day, on an ongoing basis. As for participants, they can buy accommodation for any date instead of being limited to the dates forced by the organiser. As a result, they are happy to choose us as the provider of accommodation services and we can increase the amount of reservations we handle every year.

What are the aspects that people looking for comfortable accommodation see as the most important?

If conferences and congresses are concerned, the first priority is the distance between the hotel and the conference venue, while the price comes second.

What kind of information do participants require the most and how does CONREGO assist you in making it available?

There are no rules for that. Participants attach great weight to prices and what they include. They often write to us to make sure that their registration / reservation is confirmed and paid for. But there are great many individual and non-standard questions. To be frank, I have never really looked deeper into that because I can always find the answer in CONREGO, no matter the question. You simply enter the record corresponding to the participant in the administration system and find the answer you need (the system works really quickly), while talking to the participant.

Is there any function that you think CONREGO lacks?

Nothing comes to my mind, so probably not (smile).

What are the most frequent problems you come across in your work and how do you solve them?

We do not use the word “problem” in our company. We prefer calling it “a thing to handle” because you simply need to handle it the best you can, period. And that is the reason behind implementing many modern systems and applications that make it possible for us to give a positive answer to any challenge – to handle everything. And CONREGO is one of such most basic systems. It provides us with many essential tools gathered in one place, easily accessible and operated intuitively.

Using appropriate tools is a great help when taking care of the many activities related to handling of participants, communication, and work organisation. Apart from the CONREGO registration system, what are the tools you use every day and how can they help you in your work?

There are many of them. Each one is strictly adapted to our needs and used to design various elements of the logistics supporting conference organisation. Obviously, we have an expanded CRM and a mailbox, which is always the foundation, but also two highly specialised applications: one handles conference logistics and the other draws up space management plans of conference areas – the latter also facilitates the preparation of visualisations.

Nobell Congressing is a highly demanding team and the leader in their branch of industry. Their successes prove that using the CONREGO event registration system is both simple and extremely effective. We see supporting such enterprises as a challenge and something to be proud of.

Tomasz Chrościechowski

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